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12/28/1 News: SD Mardi Gras fenced in

A Mardi Gras reveler.

by Lance Vargas

Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter is going to be a little different this year. Instead of the annual Fat Tuesday Masquerade Parade being cost-free and open to the general public, it will be confined within a certain area similar to San Diego Street Scene. Price for the event? $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

“Last year, we had the parade out on the street and it was free for everyone to view and then we had the Bayou Blowout Block Party. This year we’ve combined the two in one area,” said Stacie Huckeba from McFarlane Promotions.

Huckeba stated that the reason for the change was primarily safety. “We don’t have to worry about women being harassed, harangued or molested if they don’t lift up their shirts,” she said. Public displays of nudity during Mardi Gras have been a problem for police in San Diego and other cities for many years. “If they are inside the block party, we have a little more control,” said Huckeba. “There were 80,000 people in the streets for Mardi Gras last year, it was taxing on traffic and nightclubs.”

A disadvantage to this year’s parade and Mardi Gras celebration will be that partygoers must be over 21 to enter the block party. Children and young adults will therefore be excluded from the celebration.

“(Previously), the parade started at 9 p.m. and it was on a Tuesday so we didn’t have alot of kids out compared to adults,” said Huckeba. “(The changes) are more for safety reasons than anything else,” said Huckeba.